Thermal fatigue has been observed to cause matrix cracking in laminated composite materials. A method is presented to predict transverse matrix cracks in composite laminates subjected to cyclic thermal load. Shear lag stress approximations and a simple energy-based fracture criteria are used to predict crack densities as a function of temperature. Prediction of crack densities as a function of thermal cycling is accomplished by assuming that fatigue degrades the material's inherent resistance to cracking. The method is implemented as a computer program. A simple experiment provides data on progressive cracking of a laminate with decreasing temperature. Existing data on thermal fatigue is also used. Correlations of the analytical predictions to the data are very good. A parametric study using the analytical method is presented which provides insight into material behavior under cyclical thermal loads.